In February 1941, between 300-500 Jewish men of sound mind and body were rounded up in Amsterdam by the Nazi occupying forces. Every single one of them was deported out of the city, most of them to the Mauthausen concentration camp. The majority of those were either shot, pushed of a rock quarry at the top of the “stairs of death”, or literally worked to death. This event symbolized the beginning of the Holocaust in the Netherlands. While one of these men was my mother’s favorite cousin, David van Hasselt, even if there wasn’t this personal element attached to the story, I would still be enormously offended by your comments.
If there was any accuracy to your comments, which there is not, finding it necessary to insist that the Holocaust wasn’t motivated by race is like saying that slavery was really only about getting cheap help. It whitewashes the murder of 6 million Jews, diminishes the pain and suffering of those that experienced it and the burden of responsibility and vicarious anguish felt by future generations.
In September of 1919, 14 years before Adolf Hitler came into power, he categorized the Jews as a race, not as a religious community. He described the Jewish presence as a “race-tuberculosis of the peoples “, and said that “the ultimate goal must be the removal of the Jews altogether “.
In 1923, 10 years before seizing power, Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord”.
While Hitler did have a disdain for the mentally and physically deficient, he also hated Homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, and any race not seen as Aryan. This is why Jesse Owens’ victories in the 1933 Munich Olympics made him such a hero, something I would have commended you for taking time to recognize, as he showed his superiority in his athletic prowess right in front of Hitler’s face.
What this all comes back to is that your comments are not only incredibly and continuously insensitive, their inaccuracies are dangerous. The reason why myself and so many others find the need to make telling this story our life’s work, is because as soon as it’s forgotten, or distorted as you are doing, the danger of history repeating or even somewhat duplicating itself becomes significantly greater.
And finally Whoopi, despite the fact that your comments put your mental stability in question, because of the last name you go by, Goldberg, the Nazis would have come for you before seeing the color of your skin. A fact you would be wise to acknowledge.
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December 27th, 2022 at 6:04 pm
Dear David, Again a great action to write this letter to Whoopi. I hope you are an example for many others who will do the same! It is hard to believe for me that she obviously has a side that not so many people in the Netherlands know of. I also want to send my best wishes for a very prosperous, healthy and Happy new year. Atie Immink